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stress management

Engage Your Vagus Nerve :: Breathing Techniques For Relaxation And Insomnia Relief

Engage Your Vagus Nerve :: Breathing Techniques For Relaxation And Insomnia Relief

Concerns about the long-term impact of chronic stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia is a topic of concern for many of my coaching and therapy clients. A few stressful, sleepless nights can easily spiral into a regular problem as clients begin to develop a negative relationship with bedtime and sleep. Many will seek the help of a psychiatrist to obtain prescription medications in an effort to break the cycle. Not a bad option in the short-term, but less than ideal as a long-term solution. I always recommend lifestyle modifications and attempts at simple changes in the environment first. Before we move to information about engaging your vagus nerve and the relaxation response, let's clear the path to create an optimal environment for sleep. 

How can you modify your environment to promote better sleep? In addition to dimming the lights and reducing evening electronic stimulation, some helpful evening rituals include the following:

  • meditation

  • focused breathing

  • biofeedback

  • guided imagery

  • progressive muscle relaxation

  • restorative yoga

  • gentle stretching to release tension in the body

  • a warm bath

  • a soothing warm drink such as milk, nut milk or non-caffeinated tea 

  • herbs and homeopathic support 

How are you breathing during the day? You may not be aware that throughout your busy day, your breathing has become shallow. Your thoughts likely contribute

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

#shrinkthinks DBT Quick Reference :: Holiday Survival Skills For Anxiety, Addiction Triggers, Emotions And Problem Behaviors

Many of my psychotherapy patients ask for a Dialectical Behavior Therapy or a DBT cheat-sheet to have handy because... life happens, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, and it's hard to remember what to during those challenging moments! This is a basic list to remind you that you DO have other options at your disposal to help you better manage your relationship problems, trauma symptoms, addiction and eating disorder triggers, anxiety, depression, self-harm urges, relationship challenges, stress and strong emotions. With the holiday season comes lots of stress--and with no shortage of emotional triggers--people struggle with: alcohol and food in abundance, family stressors and memories that reignite feelings of anger, loss, sadness, longing and loneliness.

Even though situations and stressors are present, DBT can help you make healthier choices for yourself! A good place to start is to remember to focus, breathe and be mindful. When the skills don't work

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

#coachsays - What Am I Tolerating And Other Forms Of Mind Clutter?

We all struggle with frustrations that tap our reserves. Some stem from life, external circumstances and interactions with others, and many are self-imposed. What are you "putting up with" in your life -- at home, at work or with friends, and how much is your capacity to please or tolerate things impacting the quality of your life? Are you wired to just ignore the mess and tolerate the "noise" in your life, or are you ready to tackle the things that are keeping you from living a life that gives your more satisfaction and self-efficacy? The problem is that these minor and major things have a way of building until it becomes a pile-up, which then feels so overwhelming that it's hard to know where to begin. Start with making a list of the things you'd like to more effectively manage or eliminate.

A few examples of the usual things that we put up with, or minor annoyances are: household clutter, broken things, tasks that have been put off, friends with bad behaviors and so on. Some major sources of things we tolerate might include an abusive work situation, a devaluing mother-in-law, an abusive relationship or the bullying behaviors of a partner. How are you impacted when the things you tolerate build and build until things feel, well, intolerable? What might you lose (real or fear of) if you confront these problems Most importantly, how would your life improve if you made some important and helpful changes?

Not addressing the growing pile of things in your life that torment you leads to many problems, including: mounting anxiety and stress reactions, feeling overwhelmed and stuck, feeling energetically drained and tapped as well as feeling sad and depressed. Eventually your ability to feel confident and effective and have a sense of agency in your life is compromised. So, how do you begin the process of fixing some of these problems, or at least minimizing the personal impact?

  1. Decide where to begin, maybe pick three things that you'd like to focus on. You can't do it all. A commitment to change and taking action can lead to feelings of empowerment and wellbeing. 

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.